“Ye serve the Lord Christ.” – Colossians 3:24
“It is a greater honour to serve Christ in the most menial capacity than to occupy the thrones of the Caesars.”
Charles Spurgeon believed it was an “unrivalled honour and an unsurpassed delight” to be able to “do anything for Jesus.” In light of the great salvation wrought by Christ, Spurgeon urged his congregation to be “insatiably ambitious” and “resolved at all costs to show our loyalty to our Prince.”
Indeed, Spurgeon celebrated that the gospel provided not only directions for “holy living,” but furnished believers with “reasons for obedience” and the “power to obey.” Returning to his text, Spurgeon said, “[Paul] bids us remember who and what we are as believers in Christ, that we may act accordingly.” Thus, believers could, by grace, follow the command to “live the life of heaven here below” because they had been “raised with Christ” who “is their life.”
Spurgeon marveled at this great exchange, saying, “What an exaltation for a slave of Satan to become a servant of Christ!” For Spurgeon what was “sweetest of all” was that God, who never needs anything and lacks nothing, had stooped to allow his people to serve him.
Accordingly, Spurgeon found great happiness in the “service of Jesus,” calling it the “purest of pleasures.” Indeed, with great fervor Spurgeon said, “We long to express our affection for Jesus by acts of zeal.” After all, “Love pants for expression, and is not obedience the tongue of love?”
In the first section of his sermon, Spurgeon explained how Christians can serve “In the common acts of grace.” Here Spurgeon noted that “The fact our text was addressed to the lowest rather than to the highest…is very instructive.”
First, those in a low estate could serve Christ by “a quiet acquiescence in the arrangement of Providence which has placed them where they are.” In his view to accept “where the Lord places us” and to “keep our position cheerfully” contained “the essence of obedience.”
Second, believers in all walks of life could serve Christ “if we exercise the grace of the Holy Spirit in the discharge of our calling.” While some would never preach, their life could be a “powerful sermon.” Indeed, Spurgeon said “Where our words are denied a hearing, your lives will nevertheless win attention.”
Third, Christ could be served “by displaying the joy of the Lord in our service.” Spurgeon placed great emphasis on this point, noting that “Many a soul has been converted to our Lord by noticing the cheerfulness of poor Christians.”
Fourth, and finally, believers could serve Christ in the “common acts of life” by seeking to “perform them as unto [him].” Indeed, Spurgeon argued that “To a man who lives unto God nothing is secular, everything is sacred.” He thought it was impossible to “draw a hard and fast line” between the two and plainly stated that “The sacred has absorbed the secular.”
In the second section of his sermon, Spurgeon addressed so-called “Religious actions.” Here he exhorted “every man who is redeemed by the blood of Jesus” to have “something to do and do it.”
However, Spurgeon also called his congregation to sift their motives. He asked “are we with our whole selves serving Christ,” while noting that “we may be working in a legal spirit,” and thus “not [be] serving Christ.”
Indeed, to those who believed, Spurgeon said “Ye are saved, serve then your Saviour out of gratitude.” Christians were not to work “to obtain life,” but rather because “you have life already, and delight to exercise that life to the honour of him who gave it.”
In the third section of his sermon, Spurgeon discussed serving Christ “In special acts done to [him].” Here Spurgeon acknowledged that “I cannot tell you how I feel, but I often wish I could do something for my Lord…personally.”
First, Spurgeon said that Christians can “adore our Lord.” Indeed, “We can bow at his feet in worship,” especially in “holy contemplation, meditation, admiration, [and] thanksgiving.” This was especially true with respect to his “dying love” and his “living love.”
Second, Christians could “pray for him.” But how? Here Spurgeon said that believers could pray for “the extension of his kingdom,” that “he may see the travail of his soul,” and that “his second advent may speedily arrive.”
Finally, Spurgeon said that “if you would serve Christ personally you must obey him.” In his view, this was because Jesus had chosen “obedience as the special pledge and token of our love.” Indeed, “Complete, prayerful, habitual obedience to Christ” was the “choicest pledge of affection” which Christians could offer Christ. And so, Spurgeon concluded, “I owe all I have and all I am to Jesus” therefore “bring forth the choicest fruit that you have and offer it.”
Why you should take up and read:
Charles Spurgeon believed it was an “unrivalled honour and an unsurpassed delight” to be able to “do anything for Jesus.” Indeed, he was “insatiably ambitious” to bring honour to the Lord Jesus Christ. In this sermon Spurgeon helpfully exhorted and equipped his congregation to serve Christ. For the reader wanting to learn how to grow in serving Christ please take up and read.
Here is the link to the Sermon of the Week:https://www.spurgeon.org/resource-library/sermons/all-for-jesus#flipbook/
Phillip Ort serves at the Director of The Spurgeon Library at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City where he is also pursuing a Master of Divinity degree.